Uttarakhand high court chief justice KM Joseph, who along with justice VK Bisht quashed President’s rule in the state, has been transferred to the Andhra Pradesh high court as chief justice.
Coming at a time when an appeal against the verdict is being heard in the Supreme Court, the transfer has raised eyebrows in certain sections.
Justice Joseph took over as the Uttarakhand HC’s chief justice on July 31, 2014. Sources say he was likely to be elevated to the SC.
Justice Joseph had made a mark with his observations during the hearings on the same petition that made national headlines. These include observations as “there is no absolutism, the President is not king”, “is the governor an agent of the central government?”, “defection is a constitutional sin, you are hitting at the very core of democracy (to the central government)”, etc.
After the judgment, justice Joseph had come under a scathing attack by RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya, which alleged his family was close to the Congress. The saffron newspaper had
also raised questions over his judgments.
During the court hearings on outgoing CM Harish Rawat’s petition challenging President’s rule, justice Joseph had asked whether principles of natural justice had been used while implementing Article 356 in the state. He had rapped attorney general Mukul Rohtagi for his pleas saying the imposition of President’s rule was justified as the state machinery had failed and there was some possibility of anarchy.